Introducing the Colleen E. Ritzer Memorial Fund, Inc.

For more than 7 years, the Essex County Community Foundation (ECCF) has been a trusted partner of our family, the Colleen E. Ritzer Memorial Scholarship and the Step Up for Colleen helping us to manage the resources generous individuals and organizations have donated in support of Colleen’s legacy. That legacy is a significant purpose in our lives.

We have been supported by many who have been touched by Colleen’s story. After much thought and consideration, thanks to your support and shared passion for Colleen’s legacy, we have formed an IRS approved 501(c)(3) and registered nonprofit with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office guided by an independent Board of Directors. The Board Members– who are all volunteers and will not be compensated – are passionate about creating an enduring legacy for Colleen, especially in the areas of assisting future teachers through scholarships, kindness initiatives, assistance for teachers, school safety, etc.

We truly believe that we can make a greater difference in this world and for future generations beyond scholarships through the works of this new organization. The support we have received from so many, including you, has made this dream a reality – establishing a means to enable Colleen to have a greater impact on our communities. We have learned we are stronger together.

The Colleen E. Ritzer Memorial Fund, Inc. fosters a society of compassion with kindness as a motivating influence in all its endeavors. Renowned for her kindness, zeal for life, teaching, and love of family, the organization emulates Colleen’s compassion through scholarships, grants and other programs with kindness and education at their core. 

The scholarships and the Step Up for Colleen 5k will continue, just as they have these past seven years, but the funds will now be managed by the independent Board with the highest levels of transparency and oversight. We also look forward to introducing a number of new and exciting and innovative initiatives that will enable Colleen’s legacy to continue impacting our communities in greater ways.

As we embark on this next step, we invite you to visit our new website that was created by volunteers at no cost to the organization. We look forward to your continued partnership as we empower others to be inspired by Colleen’s legacy. We would like to once again thank ECCF, our extended family, friends – new and old, and all those that continue to support our work in spreading kindness and compassion in Colleen’s honor. Our hearts are still broken over the loss of our beautiful daughter and sister Colleen, and they always will be, but they have also been strengthened because of your support.

Thank you and we look forward to having you all on this journey with us.

Tom, Peggie, Dan & Laura

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